Report: Senate’s Obamacare overhaul bill in jeopardy over abortion language

Senate Republicans' effort to overhaul Obamacare appears to be headed towards a major stumbling block.

The Hill is reporting, based on inside sources, that language in the GOP proposal prohibiting "people from using new refundable tax credits for private insurance plans that cover abortion" may have to be removed before the bill can proceed.

The warning was reportedly issued by Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough who was appointed to the post in 2012.

It is in this capacity that she must determine if the GOP bill qualifies under the Senate's reconciliation provision which would allow it to pass with a simple majority—which Republicans could achieve on their own—instead of the standard threshold of 60 votes.

In order to do so, the bill must pass a certain set of Senate rules, notes Business Insider.

However, NPR reports that the abortion-related provision is not likely to meet one of them, called the 'Byrd Rule,' "which aims to block senators from using this fiscal process to include policies unrelated to taming the deficit."

Since MacDonough has reportedly called attention to the language, indicating possible removal, there are now questions as to whether more right-wing conservatives will even support the bill without it.

And given that there are only 52 Republicans in the Senate, any party defections could jeopardize the future of the entire bill.